Run Mara Run

UPDATE 5 January 2011:

On 4 January 2010, Mara Thompson formally entered the ‘race’ by paying her deposit at the Treasury.  I do not think that anyone in Barbados expects her to lose.

I have closed the poll, which indicates that approximately 40% of those who participated thought that she should enter the ‘race’, and 60% thought that she should not.

End Update.

Perhaps I have reached a hope stage of grief, but if there is one issue in Barbados upon which Barbadians agree, it is that Mara should run.  The issue which divides us is whether she should run to, or from the responsibilities associated with replacing her late husband as the parliamentary representative for St John.  One thing is certain, having both father and husband as politicians, Mara is well prepared to count the cost of this pursuit.

Politicians eat their young

She must be aware that there are no long-term allegiances or logic to the behaviour of politicians. They can be in favour and out of favour with each other with rapidity.  Politicians in opposition deemed a former Prime Minister as highly incompetent and responsible for mismanaging the economy.  However, when they regained power, they facilitated him being knighted as a role model for us to emulate.

Politicians in cabinet deemed a former opposition leader as utterly useless in economic matters.  However, when he crossed the floor, they embraced him as a useful economic advisor.  Politicians appear to delight in damaging the reputations of persons with whom they disagree.  Therefore, Mara should run as fast and as far as she can from this type of political behaviour.

Barbados deserves better

At this stage of our development, Barbadians deserve significantly better representation in Parliament.  We deserve to hear our representatives honestly discussing the policy issues which affect us, rather than hearing them recite proposals that they appear not to understand, and cleverly attacking each other, and damaging the reputation of individuals and businesses with whom they perceive to be associated with their political opponents.

Mara is a stateswoman

Mara has consistently carried herself as a stateswoman for decades.  It is her choice whether to maintain that status, or to descend from it.  If she chooses to remain above the political mire, then her status as a stateswoman is maintained.  She can maintain her status by entering elective politics, and enunciating and defending her opinions without negatively speaking about those with whom she may disagree.

To my knowledge, Mara has no Caribbean role models to guide her.  Her political advisors only know the ‘cut and thrust’ of politics, the damaging use of political invective and innuendo, and the singular focus of getting re-elected at all costs.

At this point in our nation’s history, Mara is uniquely qualified to lead us out of this messy political environment into a responsible and enlightened type of governance.  Our parliament will not be accustomed to having a states-person in their midst, and will have to adjust.  Regardless of whether she is ignored, attacked, or emulated, I believe that Barbados can only benefit from her representation.  What do you think?  Please participate in the following poll.

Related article: Statesmen are preferred over politicians

Advertisements

28 responses to “Run Mara Run

  1. Cheryl Gill-Eversley

    Thank you for a succint and well presented argument covering considerations both for and against Mara Thompson’s participation in elective politics. From the time I was a small child, I have keenly observed politicians (especially local but also regional) and political debate in and out of our House of Assembly. I can honestly say that the tenor of what is considered the “normal cut and thrust” of politics is the one consideration that held me back from participating in the national political arena during my single, unattached years. Now, as a wife and mother I continue to resist the idea of getting involved, despite my lingering keen interest and belief that I have something to offer, because frankly, I don’t know that I could subject my innocent husband and children to the atmosphere of mud-slinging and other negetive attributes that seem to be accepted as par for the course in our so-called political debate. I will join in prayers for Mara as she considers this step.

  2. Hi Cheryl:

    I do not believe that our political system will improve until voters demand a higher standard of performance and behavior from their elected representatives.

    Voters are accustomed to the current standards, and simply do not know what an elected states-person looks like. I believe that Dame Nita Barrow came close, but she was not a parliamentarian. Some senior politicians should be commended for behaving as statesmen and women now that they are no longer in elective politics. However, they are challenged to disassociate themselves from the political invective with which they littered the campaign trail and parliament.

    Mara currently towers above the political mire; and if she governs in this manner, then she is likely to cause at least the first-term politicians to reject the temptations of the dark side. Regardless of what Mara chooses to do, I will support her. While I would like her to run for Barbados’ benefit, I pray that God’s will be done, and that Mara obeys the Spirit of God, wherever He leads her. I will also pray that for you.

    Regards,
    Grenville

  3. Pingback: Poll: Should Mara Thompson run for Barbados Parliament? « Barbados Free Press

  4. I believe she is only now considering the offer after that hideous gaffe was allowed the other day during “tributes” to her late hubby at Parliament, manners maketh man it is said… Anyone has a copy or the words to that ghastly statement?

  5. Johnny Postle

    She presents a face of honesty and humility that is very much needed in Barbados politics. I believe the people of St. John and by extension, the nation of Barbados will benefit from her ascension into active politics. However as this well written article presents, politics and its practices makes for ugly damaging business and is so frequently associated with misrepresentation of facts. She must know if she will have the fortitude and perseverance to cope with what will be presented to her.

    Mrs. Mara Thompson I think you should carry on your late husband’s legacy and when you are done, present to your lovely daughters the integrity by which you were instilled so that they too may carryon a legacy of servitude and honesty to be the people of Barbados, either in active politics or their career choices.

  6. Hi Ian:

    From previous newspaper reports, I think that she was thinking about it before the opposition leader gave his ‘tribute’. I will have to provide the references later tonight.

    Regards,
    Grenville

  7. Hi Johnny:

    Some of us have been fortunate to have had responsible fathers whom we could emulate. Those not so fortunate should be able to point to the nation’s leaders – statesmen and women, and encourage their children to follow their example. I believe that our political leaders should take their ‘role model’ responsibilities seriously, and consistently display exemplary behaviour for all of our sakes.

    We have had centuries of parliamentary debates, where the reputations of persons were collateral damage from the ‘cut and thrust’ parliamentary tradition. During this time, high standards of parliamentary rituals have developed. However, Jesus noted that it is not the outward appearance that matters, but what happens on the inside. Actually, Jesus is most angry with that sort of behaviour. I will let Jesus to speak for Himself following my post below, and you can judge for yourself His level of anger.

    While I believe that Mara’s run could be the catalyst that truly transforms parliament into a place of excellence, I must acknowledge the challenges of being a single mother of a teen and a tween. The responsibilities of raising children is as, or more important than representing the people of St John. While I believe that she can do both successfully, she must be commended, and highly respected if she chooses to devote most of her energy to raising her children.

    Regards,
    Grenville

    P.s. Now, let me introduce Jesus, who will be speaking about the behaviour of religious and political leaders of His time.

    “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you cleanse the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of extortion and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisee, first cleanse the inside of the cup and dish, that the outside of them may be clean also.

    “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.

    “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! Because you build the tombs of the prophets and adorn the monuments of the righteous, and say, ‘If we had lived in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets.’

    “Therefore you are witnesses against yourselves that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets. Fill up, then, the measure of your fathers’ guilt. Serpents, brood of vipers! How can you escape the condemnation of hell?

    Therefore, indeed, I send you prophets, wise men, and scribes: some of them you will kill and crucify, and some of them you will scourge in your synagogues and persecute from city to city, that on you may come all the righteous blood shed on the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah, son of Berechiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar. Assuredly, I say to you, all these things will come upon this generation.

    “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing! See! Your house is left to you desolate; for I say to you, you shall see Me no more till you say, ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!’” (Matthew 25:25-38)

  8. If her passion is politics then go for it. However as the only parent in the lives of her girls and especially the last one, I would give it some thought; representing the people/Barbados demands a great deal of sacrifice. I am sure she wants to carry on the vision that her husband left, but she must be very careful because it will affect her family life. She is a politician’s daughter. She knows politics is nasty (eg. remarks said at the first session) and yes they eat their young, but looking at her, those of you who know the story of Barak and Deborah, in my book she is a “Deborah”. My prayers are with you always! Tessa

  9. “At this stage of our development, Barbadians deserve significantly better representation in Parliament. We deserve to hear our representatives honestly discussing the policy issues which affect us, rather than hearing them recite proposals that they appear not to understand, and cleverly attacking each other, and damaging the reputation of individuals and businesses with whom they perceive to be associated with their political opponents.”

    And THIS is why she shouldn’t run. What’s wrong with you people? The late, great David Thompson gave Errol Barrow’s law practice to Garth Patterson (a Jamaican) and now you want the late, great David Thompson to have bequeathed St. John to Mara Thompson ( a St. Lucian)?

    What REAL qualifications does she have apart from having married David?

    Come on, people. Wake up before it’s too late. And the DLP should consider that Mara Thompson the candidate would doubtless win St. John but in the long run cost the DLP the government.

  10. If Barbados Today Online’s report that one of David Thompson’s deathbed wishes was that Mara should be his successor in St John and perhaps beyond that, is correct, I can see why Mara may find it difficult to say no to that call and the others that want her to accept the St John seat. I say “accept” the seat as it is surely a fait accompli if she decides to accept the nomination.

    I also think that, given the alleged deathbed wish of her late husband, the alleged calls from the St John constituents for her to accept the nomination and her far from politically naive reaction to Owen Arthur’s tribute, it is almost certain that she will accept the nomination, if offered by Freundel Stuart and the current DLP hierarchy.

    I say if offered by Freundel Stuart because it is far from certain that Mara Thompson, sitting as a member for a safe St John seat and being very well positioned for perhaps an instant Cabinet Minister and potential Prime Minister post, would be warmly and unconditionally accepted by either Stuart or most of the other leaders of the DLP. In addition it might possibly spell the end or postponement of the political aspirations of a number of the persons who have been named as potential DLP aspirants to that safe seat and even ministerial positions.

    In addition, would Mara, sitting in that seat, be somewhat of a disruptive force in the current DLP administration, from the point of view that she might well serve to temper independent decisions that might be in the DLP’s and the country’s best interest but that might be somewhat at variance with what David Thompson might have brokered with different conditions existing?

    In addition, is the possible setting up of a family dynasty, somewhat in the style of Guyana of not so long ago, be in the best interests of Barbados.

    But what are the possible positive attributes of a Mara Thompson parliamentarian to St John and Barbados? I think she would have a very intimate knowledge of St John itself and would be a good representative there. Perhaps even better than her late husband, as the female of the species have attributes of tenacity, empathy, etc., that dwarf those of typical males, in addition, if initially she was not offered a cabinet position, with her excellent connections, she would have the time to become a truly outstanding member for St John. If she is immediately drafted into the Ministerial cadre that last advantage would not be likely.

    If she quickly becomes a Minister I fear that her effectiveness will not necessarily be positive because of interactions with other ministers and initial inexperience.

  11. Hi Persnicka:

    I believe that she holds both Bachelor and graduate level academic qualifications, is a teacher, and is also a citizen of Barbados. However, all of that aside – she is a stateswoman. That is what is needed in Barbados at this time; therefore, that is what qualifies her.

    Regards,
    Grenville

  12. Hi Check:

    Given her family responsibilities, I do not think that she should accept a Ministry at this time. My hope is that she would show the other parliamentarians how to behave in a states-person like manner.

    Regards,
    Grenville

  13. Hi researching:

    Is her degree not in something to do with sports?
    You have adroitly side-stepped the questions I asked. That she is or is not a stateswoman does not matter vis-a-vis representational politics in Barbados. Julie Arthur is the wife of our last Prime Minister and is ipso facto a stateswoman. Does this qualify HER to represent a constituency? In my humble opinion, we do not need another stateswoman or statesman in Barbados. We already have Dr. Haynes’s wife, a true stateswoman and talented benefactor to the people of Barbados, who has never run for a constituency. We need people who understand economics and policy decisions and the means of implementing the same to help us in this period of international economic turmoil.

    Why would the DLP grant a safe seat to a stateswoman? Why not find a qualified Bajan DLP supporter who could carry the heavy load that the House of Assembly will doubtless shift unto the front bench in the near future?
    Why this drive to dynasty? Are we not a democracy? Why this mindless person-worship? Don’t we agree that there is one God, and that thou shalt have none other than HIM?

  14. Researching:

    Sorry … I said “degree” when I should have said “qualification.” I am becoming as inattentive to accuracy as that subsciber on another blog who said that Mara was a teacher and “attorney-at-law.”

    I think that my main point still stands, however …

  15. Dear Persnicka:

    I thought that I responded to each of your questions. Let us try this again.

    Persnicka: “And THIS is why she shouldn’t run. What’s wrong with you people? The late, great David Thompson gave Errol Barrow’s law practice to Garth Patterson (a Jamaican) and now you want the late, great David Thompson to have bequeathed St. John to Mara Thompson ( a St. Lucian)?”

    I responded by stating that I believed that she was also a Barbadian citizen.

    Persnicka: “What REAL qualifications does she have apart from having married David?”

    I responded by stating that I believed she held both Bachelor and graduate level academic qualifications, and is a teacher.

    Persnicka: “Come on, people. Wake up before it’s too late. And the DLP should consider that Mara Thompson the candidate would doubtless win St. John but in the long run cost the DLP the government.”

    I responded that she is a stateswoman – which is what I believe is needed in Barbados at this time. Please identify your other queries.

    In your most recent post, you have added a useful comment, to which I shall respond.

    Persnicka: “We need people who understand economics and policy decisions and the means of implementing the same to help us in this period of international economic turmoil.”

    Please be advised that successive administrations, stacked full of people who appeared to understand economics, have continued to spend more than we have earned. Perhaps we need people who can balance a check book.

    Please also be advised that successive administrations, stacked full of people who appeared to understand policy decisions, have failed to ask inexperienced builders to follow Barbados’ national building standard (published since 1993), despite our brushes with Ivan in 2004 and Tomas in 2010. Perhaps we need people who have run a successful business.

    Regards,
    Grenville

  16. You are right. The questions I posed were:

    (i) “What’s wrong with you people?
    You never answered this because evidently you don’t think there’s anything wrong with people who make political decisions for sentimental reasons.

    (ii) “The late, great David Thompson gave Errol Barrow’s law practice to Garth Patterson (a Jamaican) and now you want the late, great David Thompson to have bequeathed St. John to Mara Thompson ( a St. Lucian)?”
    You answered that Mara is a Barbadian citizen. So too are many born Barbadians who could make a contribution to the development of their society. So too are many Guyanese disparaged by many because of the current immigration climate. You didn’t even mention the reference to Errol Barrow in both parts of the question.

    (iii) “What REAL qualifications does she have apart from having married David?”
    You answered that you BELIEVED she had undergraduate and graduate qualifications and was a teacher. There was a reason was the word “REAL” was in caps in the question.
    This is what I meant by adroitly side-stepping the issues.
    Then you ask me to be advised of successive administrations “stacked full of people … etc etc” when successive administrations could only be honestly described as “stacked full” of lawyers.

    Then you say: “Perhaps we need people who can balance a check book;” and “Perhaps we need people who have run a successful business.”
    How do you know that Mara is capable of either or both of these exercises? How do you know that she is more capable at them than another person born in St. John?
    The kind of illogic we find in your position flows often when we are maudlin and sentimental about issues and try to cover our emotionalism with something approaching rationality.

    In short, for the good of the people in St. John, for the good of the DLP, for the good of Parliament, for the good of Barbados, Mara Thompson should NOT run for the constituency of St. John. In fact, it would only be for the good of an opportunistic few behind the apparent spontaneous ground swell of support for Mara; and for the good of the BLP who would face a light-weight politician in a safe seat.

    That’s my unemotional, unsentimental opinion and I stick to it as one who had the greatest respect for David Thompson.

    Now, pleease …. think!

  17. Sorry, did not get my handle on before posting the above!

  18. Johnny Postle

    Persnic-kat
    What qualifications do Hamilton Lashley possessed that he was elected to represent the people of the Pine? Yet he handle himself quite well as a grassroots politico. The current lot of high flyers have plenty of qualifications but absolutely zero credibility and integrity. I prefer an honest politicians then a qualified crook.

  19. Johnny Postle:

    Your remark regarding Hammy in insightful: “Yet he handle himself quite well as a grassroots politico.” I actually don’t think that Hamilton Lashley reaches the standard we should expect of political representatives in Barbados, but that’s beside the point. The supporters of this “Run, Mara” crusade actually present Mara Thompson as something a bit bigger (may I even say “classier”, note the reference to “stateswoman”) than poor ole Hammie La.
    I too prefer an honest politician. xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx
    This is the kind of illogic with respect to her potential candidacy that I am referring to.

    With respect,
    P

    Hi Persnicka:

    I have to jump in here because you have stepped over the line – just a bit. In Barbados, it is illegal to defame someone, and that includes directly or indirectly damaging the reputations and integrity of innocent persons.

    I am sure that you were unaware that you crossed over the line of legal behaviour, otherwise, you would not have done it. Therefore, let me explain it carefully so that everyone can benefit. I can defame Henry, and injure his reputation, by asking the following questions:

    “How do you know that Henry is honest? I am not suggesting that he is not; but why do you suppose that he is?”

    In Barbados, we must always start with the assumption that people are honest and innocent. Only a person’s behaviour can challenge that assumption, not unsupported accusations or innuendo. Given your skills as a writer, I know that you can post within the legal boundaries, and I look forward to reading more of your posts in the future. However, in order to protect both of us, I have no choice but to xxx out the offending sentences in your post.

    Please note that I believe that Mara has the standing and ability to gently correct our parliamentarians in more effective manner.

    Regards,
    Grenville

  20. I am amazed at the drivel people type under the cloak of ‘anonymity’. What nonsense am I reading ‘ the late, great David Thompson to have bequeathed St. John to Mara Thompson ( a St. Lucian)?’

    Oh Please!!

    THE LADY IS HIS WIFE FOR HEAVEN’S SAKE … AND A BARBADIAN NATIONAL. SHOW SOME RESPECT!!

  21. cherylanng:

    I meant no disrespect. I have read somewhere that it was the dying wish of David Thompson that the seat in St. John be that of his wife first and then one of his daughters. Mrs. Thompson was born in St. Lucia.

    Both of these points are facts. I see no disrespect. There is no cloak of “anonymity” anymore than all have on the internet.

    Where is the drivel ? So, because Mrs. Thompson is our late Prime Minister’s wife and a Barbadian national, I am incorrect in my statements regarding a possible run for a seat in the House of Assembly ? xxxx xxxx I hope your sweet ears are ready for it.

    With respect,
    P.

    Hi Persnicka:

    Just remember the following rule of thumb and you will be OK. Only a person’s behaviour can challenge the assumtion that they are honest and innocent, not unsupported accusations or innuendo. So I must insert those pesky xxxx once again.

    Regards,
    Grenville

  22. Hi Persnicka:

    I have also heard this “dying wish” rumour, and a source has been offerred. However, until it has been verified, it must remain a rumour, and no weight of truth should be attached to it. Obviously, this means that all arguments that are supported upon this unstable foundation must be discounted.

    Regards,
    Grenville

  23. Grenville:

    My humblest and sincereest apologies. I attempted to make a “logical” statement. I would not want a single person to think that I impugned the character of Mara Thompson in any way. When I said that I had the deepest respect for David Thompson, I meant every word.

    I have found that on the passing of a leader, those followers who grieve naturally look to the next of kin to “continue the work” or “shore up the legacy.” In the case currently discussed, I happen to think that that would be an egregious error.

    That’s all .. and thanks for the corrective measures.

    With respect,

    P.

  24. Hi Persnicka:

    He who corrects a scoffer gets shame for himself,
    And he who rebukes a wicked man only harms himself.

    Do not correct a scoffer, lest he hate you;
    Rebuke a wise man, and he will love you.

    Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser;
    Teach a just man, and he will increase in learning. (Proverbs 9:7-9)

    Clearly, you are among the wise.

    I admit that I am still grieving – as I stated in the opening line of the article. I also believe that to encourage Mara to continue, or to “shore up the legacy” of her late husband, is selfish on our part, and unnecessarily burdensome for her.

    My observation is that she has consistently behaved as a stateswoman over the past two decades, and is an effective teacher/trainer. My analysis is that our politicians have no statesmen and women whom they can emulate, and the results are there for all to see and hear. My hope is that Mara can influence a higher standard of parliamentary behavior – ideally as Speaker of the house.

    Regards,
    Grenville

  25. Researcher; Let us assume that it is untrue that David Thompson on his deathbed expressed the wish that his wife should succeed him as the representative for St John. Where does that take us? Is it reasonable to assume that Mara would then be merely responding to the alleged expressed wishes of some members of the constituency in considering if she should run or not. In such a circumstance would it not be better for her children’s immediate needs for her to eschew the blandishments of the party and concentrate on raising them and then letting one of them at a future date get into the political ring?

    I think that Mara has the capacity and qualifications to make a good representative for St John but I think that there are other DLP aspirants who can do just as good or a better job in that regard. Her taking up that position at this time just seems to me to be the first solid step in developing a Thompson dynasty in Barbados. The long mourning period and the almost godlike references made bout David Thompson’s short career as prime minister has set the scene for this and I don’t think it would be a good thing for Barbados. Some might compare this with Grantley Adams and Tom Adams but the difference there is that there was no hint of Grantley Adams bequeathing Barbados or any constituency here to his son. In this case there seems to be a direct line. David -> Mara -> One of their daughters. Do we really want this to happen? Let Mara groom one of her daughters politically and let her at some future date fight and win the accolade of Prime Minister. No bequeathed familial Dynasty.

  26. Hi Researcher.

    I only discovered this blog yesterday. It seems to be an excellent one with some very interesting topics. It looks as if I will be a frequent visitor.

  27. Hi Check:

    1. I believe the ages of the two oldest children are around 20 and 18. Therefore, there is only one more to raise, and I believe that she can do so and represent the people of St John admirably.

    2. There is no evidence to suggest that Mara is directing any of her children into politics; therefore any notion of a dynasty should be discounted.

    3. My only interest in seeing Mara run is to influence a higher standard of parliamentary behavior – because she is has consistently behaved as a stateswoman.

    Regards,
    Grenville

  28. Hi Checkit-out:

    Welcome. Call me Grenville.

    Feel free to read and comment on any article. Should you require any supporting information to any of the opinions which I have expressed, then please request them and I will happily provide them.

    Should you feel that some evidence has not been properly interpreted, or that the assumtions upon which the interpretation of evidence have been made have not been properly verified, then you are welcome to challenge me. However, please do so politley.

    Regards,
    Grenville

You are encouraged to present your opinion.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s